MOUNT CHARLESTON, Nev. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and agencies in the State of Nevada, will begin construction on a berm and diversion channel structure just outside the Rainbow Subdivision Oct. 9.
The temporary structure, approximately 2,200 feet long, will be built on National Forest land. The $3 million structure is designed to divert flows from rain events into a natural wash and away from the neighborhood. It is designed for a “25-year” rain event, an event which has a 4 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The design reflects the District’s expectation that flows from rain events in the burned areas will bring a large volume of debris along with the water.
“The Corps of Engineers delivers vital engineering solutions and collaborates with our partners to reduce risk to people and critical infrastructure from disaster,” said Col. Kim Colloton, the L.A. District commander. “As part of a team with our federal, state and local partners, we are confident this berm and diversion channel will help mitigate flood risk for residents from future storms for several years to come.”
The District will serve as the construction manager and the Forest Service will serve as the primary “contractor” providing the labor and equipment for the project. Michel Balen, the lead engineer for the Forest Service, said the team will be working at an accelerated rate throughout the construction process. During the public meeting, he said they will take one Sunday off every other week in order to meet the construction schedule.
Residents and visitors to the area should expect traffic delays as construction equipment and construction-related vehicles will be in the area. Flaggers will be in the area at several locations on Rainbow Canyon Road to facilitate construction-related traffic. The first several days of construction will consist of cutting trees, clearing vegetation, and reconstruction of the main access road. This work will begin after all construction staff are oriented to the implementation plan. The District and Forest Service plan to complete the construction as soon as possible. Although the work days will be approximately 12-hours each, Balen said the team will try to restrict the bulk of the noisiest construction equipment use to “regular” daytime hours.
Residents and visitors will be able to see the construction from many of the homes and roads in the area; but, both the Corps of Engineers and each partner agency strongly recommend anyone who is not authorized to be on the construction site to remain clear of the area throughout the construction process. Flaggers will allow access through the construction area to Kyle Canyon Recreation Resident Tract to permittees and their guests.
“We’re very grateful for the cooperation of the Forest Service, which is letting us build this berm and diversion channel structure on its land,” said Colloton. “We’re also grateful for the cooperation from the State of Nevada throughout the process and especially for agreeing to take on the task of ensuring this project is maintained. Without the teamwork exhibited among each of the agencies involved, there is no doubt this project would not be happening at all.”